Assessment Report of
Institutional Accreditation of
Calcutta, West Bengal
Section 1: Preface
The Loreto College Calcutta volunteered to be assessed by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and submitted its self-study report and relevant documents to NAAC in November 1999.† NAAC constituted the Peer Team with Prof R. P Kaushik, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, as Chairperson, and Dr. Shakuntala Katre, Professor, Bangalore University and Dr. K. S. Arya, Former Principal, DAV College, Chandigarh as its members. The Peer Team visited the institution on 3rd †and 4th February 2000.
The Loreto College Calcutta is a womenís college and has been affiliated to the Calcutta University. It was established in 1912 by the Loreto College Educational Society of Calcutta and is situated in an urban area, on a 2.75-acre site. The UGC recognition under section 2f and 12b was granted to the college in 1973. The College has on its enrolment 812 students. It offers 10 programmes to the undergraduate students and the computer certificate course is self-financed.
The Institution has a well qualified teaching faculty consisting of 30 permanent and 12 temporary members. There are 21 members on the non-teaching staff The college has a well used central library, a computer centre, a vehicle parking shed, and a well equipped laboratory
The Peer Team carefully went through the self study report and analysed it. The team also perused all the relevant documents, visited the departments, and other facilities of the college. The members interacted with the various constituents of the institution. The co-curricular, and extension facilities were reviewed. Based on the above exercise, the Peer Team has taken the value judgement.† Team assessment, the commendable features and the issues of concern are detailed in the following pages under various prescribed criteria;
Section 2: Criterion wise Analysis
Criterion I: Curricular Aspects†
Loreto College is an affiliated institution of the Calcutta University.†Therefore, itís curricular aspects and options are predetermined by the stipulation and acts of the Senate and Syndicate of the affiliating university, allowing limited scope for innovations, At present, the undergraduate programme options available to the students are limited to four streams: 1. BA (Honours) in education, English, history and political science, 2. BA General (Pass) in all the above subjects plus in economics, Bengali, Hindi and psychology, 3. B.Sc. (Honours) in geography and 4. BA vocational course in Communicative English. The college also offers the B. Ed course and a certificate course in computer literacy. In all, there are eleven programme options and within the core subjects, the students have a choice for electives.
Among the courses offered, the B. Ed course is directly career oriented while the others lead to post-graduate studies in the respective disciplines and/or to other competitive examinations and other professional courses like management, journalism, mass communication, travel and tourism and hotel management. Opting for the available programme options, the students are bound to a time frame of three years (degree course) and one year (B. Ed. course).† The college encourages multi and inter disciplinary lectures, seminars and projects.
Being a minority institution, the Loreto College is engaged in imparting religious education to Christians and value education to all itís wards. The LTS, AICUF and Ethics classes stress value education. All-faith prayer services are organised. Largely, an atmosphere of communal harmony is encouraged and maintained.
There is a well established women-cell. Through this cell, literacy and non-formal education to the economically and socially deprived is encouraged. The cell also caters for social and family counseling and legal aid. The teachers involved in the activities of the cell are working on a voluntary basis, some are retired teachers. Both present and past students are also involved. The informal yet dedicated service offered through the women-cell has been highly gratifying to students and teachers, truly reflecting the goals and objectives of the Loreto College.
The College has both informal and formal mechanisms of feed back from students and faculty, through student (final / years) evaluation sheets, Teacherís self-appraisal and Faculty Principal interpersonal discussion.
Criterion II: Teaching-learning and Evaluation
Loreto College aims at an all-round development of its students and supplements the effective black-board teaching methods, with audio-visual aids, project work, field work, surveys etc. While there is no entrance test at admission time, the admission is based on merit and personal interview with the Principal.†Advanced† learners are sometimes given separate (additional) instructions, There is a well defined teaching plan for the faculty with a required component time for self-study.
The syllabi are unitised annually, as many as 90% classes are taught, the academic programme of the students is well monitored through an elaborate progress report - record communicated to parents from time to time.
Within the constraints - of the evaluation system offered by the Calcutta University, about which the Loreto College has expressed its dissatisfaction with reference to disparity of marks given for student performance and erratic evaluation etc, at the college level, the evaluation is based on a designed 5 points (El to ES) scale of evaluation by grading which includes written tests, oral exams and tutorials and internal assessment.
The college also has been extending some career guidance and counseling to itís students. Through group activities, debate and departmental seminars as well as modular curricula, the institution aims at an overall integrated, value-based personality development of its wards.
Staff are recruited even from other institutions, power is vested in the Principal to appoint ad hoc teachers on part-time basis, leave vacancy, non-UGC posts and therefore the teaching goes on very regularly. A good number of teachers have participated in national seminars (some as resource persons). There is a feed back (written questionnaire) sought from the final year students regarding the effectiveness and usefulness of the teaching method adopted by the teachers. The college has organised some seminars and workshops and offered as enrichment programme Linkage programmes need to be strengthened.
Criterion III: Research, Consultancy and Extension
Like any other affiliated UG institutions, the research component and culture is not very perceivable. While the college peripherally encourages research among the staff by granting leave for 1 to 3 years to pursue research in other institution (both in India and abroad) and/or complete the Ph. D thesis and encourage teachers to participate in subject-related seminars, workshops and refresher courses, more emphasis on publications, and personal research is to be developed. Subject-wise collaboration with other academic societies like the AIACHE, Shakespearean Society of Eastern Indian History Congress, Paschim Banga Itihaas Samsad and other, is evident.
Individual departments also organise seminars and workshops and some are engaged in active research. There is one ongoing project of the 25,000/- in the history department.
Towards achieving its goal of community development~ apart from formal education offered to a cross-sections of able, not-so-able, affluent as well as deprived students, both the staff and students of Loreto College are involved in several extension activities and programmes in the neighbourhood. The college regularly organises awareness programmes on Environment, and AIDS, blood donation camps and leadership training courses. There has been an active association with NGOís in the neighbourhood like the Spastic Society, Ankurkala Belpage, Morapai Village, a blind school, old age homes and CINI Asha.
Criteria IV: Infrastructure and Learning Resources
During the past 61 years the college has expanded its infrastructure facilities in the form of multistoried buildings, library and laboratory. The college owns a campus of 2.75 acres, which is meticulously maintained with the help of the Nature Club. This is one of the few places in Calcutta where greenery is lush, the lawns and trees are treasured. Spic and span ambience provides congenial atmosphere for teaching and learning.
The college offers open student access to the library which has 41, 000 books. Another 31, 473 books are available in the departmental libraries. The Book bank facility is very well utilised. Library needs to be computerised and inter-connected for inter-library borrowing. Though students have free access to the library during working hours the need to extend the hours was felt by some.
The College Computer Centre is well equipped with 15 computers. These computers are maintained through an annual maintenance contract. The Centre offers Win 95, MS-Word & MS-Excel 97 Certificate courses to the students. No computer - aided learning package is developed by the college. Necessary arrangements have to be made to have access to the computers on holidays and off hours.
The Classes in typewriting, shorthand, telephone operating, telex and English secretarial practice have been held by the Society successfully for the past 15 years in the College premises for drop-out girl students. The vast majority (about 90%) of these students are in good jobs in offices in Calcutta and elsewhere. The Needlework and knitting Department was also started in 1998 to impart income generating skills to the women of slum areas, indicating a strong college-neighbourhood relationship.
The college has provided services of a residential nurse for health emergencies. There is a Games Society which encourages students to participate in inter and intra college sports. More Sports facilities need to be augmented.
Criterion V: Student Support and Progression
The college consistently maintains very good results, including a number of ranks in the University Examinations. By and large Pass percentage is always above 98 % for undergraduate students. The college sponsors needy students every year. Financial aid is provided with the help of the Archbishop of Calcutta Educational Fund, MACHE, and few philanthropic staff members. That the pass percentage is quite high despite the admission of poor students and first-generation learners is heartening.
A regular counselor offers counseling service to the students, department-wise.
The college has an active Alumnae Association The Association holds an annual reunion each year to commemorate the College Foundation Day. All ex-students are invited twice a year. A Winter Fete is also organized. Activity of this association is confined to B.Ed. Students and needs to be expanded to include the other departments. The old student association has been able to mobilise resources for scholarships to the needy students and it can be further strengthened for generating more funds for the college. Some of the Alumnae are very well placed and can be motivated to develop the institution
Criterion VI: Organization and Management†
The Loreto College is governed by the Loreto House Educational Society of Calcutta which runs several schools and colleges in India and abroad. The Governing Body has representations of teaching and non-teaching staff; parent representatives and 2 representatives of old students are also nominated on the governing body. It is well represented and functions democratically. The periodic governing body meetings analyse the working of the institution and provide directions for the long term and the short-term achievements of the college through its judicious decisions.
Internal co-ordination and monitoring is done by the Principal and Heads of the Departments who meet regularly. Three Senior most staff members are included in the college Governing Body to participate in the decision making process by rotation. Decentralised functioning is reflected through the working of various Societies and Clubs like Nature Club, Dramatics, AICUF, Debating, Literary, Sports, Social Service and Spicmacay and others, having adequate representation of faculty members and students. The Student Council is very active and its office bearers share responsibilities of governance. Staff members share responsibilities pertaining to the day to day functioning of the college. Teaching staffs are recruited as per UOC norms and procedure.
Loans are provided to the employees out of Provident Fund and also from the general fund. Warm and mutually supportive atmosphere and enthusiastic faculty is something to be appreciated.
Criterion VII: Healthy Practices
Towards Goals set by the Institution
-††††††††††† Loreto education in India -Nurturing freedom
-††††††††††† Empowerment of women
-††††††††††† Augmentation of wisdom, social enrichment and leadership qualities in women
-††††††††††† Reaching out to all sections of the society
-††††††††††† Integrated development through value-education
-††††††††††† Ethical traditions and progressive attitudes of contemporary world
- A system close to a caring family
- Modular curricula, unitised syllabi and well designed teaching
- Pass percentage is very appreciable
- Punctuality (discipline etc.) are laudable
- Scope for remedial learning through seminars workshops and tutorials.
- Collaboration with subject related external organizations
- Exposure to higher level lectures
- Feed back mechanism
- Good extension activities
- Community service
- Womenís cell activities
- Sports and fine arts
- Literary and dramatic activities
-†††††††††† General cleanliness and ambience
††††††† Recognition to all aspects of student effort
-††††††††††† Community confidence and reputation
-††††† Well placed alumnae
-††††† Service to society at large
-††††††††††† Evaluation based on quality of mind and value system
††††††† Ex- students feel that it has brought about certain sense of self-fulfilment
††††††† Physically challenged students are encouraged, helped and emotionally ††††††††††† supported
-††††††††††† Suffering students have been supported & nursed
††††††† Inculcation of self-respect & confidence among students
††††††† Various Societies that exist do help the institution towards work ethics, discipline and self-reliance
-††††††††††† Students have never complained against any incompletion of their Syllabi
- Examination results are extremely good
-††††† Staff and other members of the institution have recourse to their ††††††††††† grievance redressal in terms of their representation on various bodies of the ††††††††††† Administration.
Section 3: Overall Analysis
The College is ideally located and suitably governed for conducting higher education in the realm of proposed 11 programmes. It deserves commendations for the methodical teaching practices, motivation and the dedication of the faculty in understanding their respective responsibilities. The Institution also has some unique features in terms of the following:
-†††† Selfless service is rendered by the members of the Loreto Society and Management Board running Loreto College for Women.
-†††† The Governing Body of the Institution is adequately represented by various components of the Institute viz. former students, teachers, non-teaching ††††††††††† staff; parents and educationists from other Institutions.
-†††† The administrative head, the Principal is extremely conscientious, inspiring and committed towards the administrative and work ethics of the institution,
-†††† The various administrative units as well as their auxiliary bodies have been running smoothly and harmoniously.
-†††† The institution reflects a great deal of strength, both, in teaching and learning. Students are very responsive and participatory. Teachers are highly motivated and dedicated. The Peer Team did not observe any dissatisfaction amongst teachers and the students.
-†††† The college has commendable activities in the form of non-formal ††††††††††† education-Women-Cell, value-education and dissemination of ††††††††††† knowledge towards communal harmony.
-†††† The college has to its credit, some outstanding sportswomen in the earlier ††††††††††† years and many highly placed alumnae.
-†††† The Peer Team was especially impressed by the high success rate of the students of the College in the University Examinations.
No institution is denuded of features that need further improvement and a scope for expansion. Loreto College is no exception to this rule. Hence, the following suggestions.
-†††† The post-graduate programmes in all the† subjects have not been introduced. The institution has been functioning for quite sometime, permission for Post-Graduate Programme, if not in all subjects, in some could have been sought.
-†††† The† college library† needs† further updating with facilities† of computerization
-†††† The college needs to open a few National Science Programmes too
-††††††††††† Professional & vocational courses need to be encouraged and suitably devised.
-†††† Self-financing courses may also be encouraged so as to have resource build up of the institution
-†††† The Parent University may be requested to make necessary amendments in their Act in permitting institution to opt for autonomy -which enables them for Syllabi changes & launch upon innovative Courses
††††† -††††††††††† Changes in Academic Curricula -in terms of updating the Syllabi are strongly needed. old courses in social sciences have not been revised for ††††††††††† a long time.
††††† -†††† The college needs future vistas.† It needs to work towards its future planning for encouraging new areas of academic activities.
The Peer Team members place on record their appreciation of the co-operation extended by the Management, Governing Body, Principal, teaching and non-teaching staff and the students, during the in visit to the institution.† We wish them success in all spheres of their academic and other activities and future plans.